Pond skaters

Pond skaters

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIA PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: A group of pond skaters, or water striders (family Gerridae) standing on the surface of pond water. They were photographed through an interferometer, an instrument used here to observe & measure the interference patterns made by the pond skater as it walks on the water's surface. Pond skaters move by making rowing motions with their middle legs, laid flat on the water. The hindlegs steer the creature while the forelegs are used for catching prey. They move jerkily, often jumping considerable distances, but never break the surface of the water. Their bodies are covered with silver, water repellent hairs.

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Keywords: animal, gerridae, insect, insecta, interference patterns, interferometer, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, pond skater, pond strider, surface tension, water, wildlife, zoology

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